I invite you to come with me on a journey; a pilgrimage of sorts. This journey is not over land and sea, but is through the passages of the human soul. Our discoveries will not be of gold and lost cities, but of our own identity in Christ. This is a unique journey because it is directed by the hand of God. In fact, the word pilgrimage means a journey to a sacred place. That sacred place is where we find the mysterious mingling of both divine intention and human will. This spiritual journey enables us to discover ourselves, our God and our place in His greater purpose on earth.
The journey of identity development has been the study of great minds, both Christian and secular. The classical Greek philosopher, Socrates, is quoted as wisely saying, "Know thyself." Then in 1891, from a more humanistic perspective, Oscar Wilde proclaimed, "Be thyself." Finally, Jewish theologian, Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote, "There is no self-understanding without God-understanding - 'Know thy God' rather than 'Know Thyself' is the categorical imperative of the biblical man."
Against the backdrop of these seemingly divergent views, we will explore the amazing world of Spiritual Identity Development. Don't let this unwieldy concept put you off. For the ideas of "Know thyself," "Know thy God" and "Be thyself" actually converge in the process of true spiritual maturity.
You will notice that our journey will take a very practical approach. Much has been written from a theoretical perspective on this topic, but I've designed this book to serve as a personal guide to help travelers understand their own growth process in Christ. It's my prayer that God will use this book to shed light on what can be a mysterious and shadowy road through life. The psalmist said, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." Psalm 119:105
Beyond being another self-help approach, this pilgrimage will allow us to see that God is behind our movement and progress. He is at the center of this unfolding plan...not us. Indeed, all history is "His story" and we are called to find our place in it.
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